Monday, August 30, 2021

I'll share some beauty with you today!

Sometimes we're asked what we are taking photos of in the woods.


(Swallowtail Kite, Red headed Woodpecker, Great Crested Flycatcher)


Butterflies and dragonflies



The list goes on and on!

Just some of what we see here in North Central Florida in the summer months. 

I'm joining Angie for Mosaic Monday HERE . 

Also I like Thursdays HERE.   

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Let's go for a drive!

We drove over to Halpata Tastanaki Preserve to see what we could see, not to hike! 

We've had a very hot August and fewer hikes as a result.

On one side of the gravel drive into HTP at the Pruitt trailhead is a horse farm. I lived in Texas for many years and still think of them as ranches but here in Florida, everyone calls them horse farms. 

Do you see a line of white birds on the fence?

We zoomed in but still didn't get very good photos.

But among the Cattle Egrets, Great White Egrets and Little Blue Herons (white juvenile stage), there was one streaked and splotched bird.

It was big and is probably a young Great Blue Heron. It really stood out, even from a distance.

There were also a few cows on the opposite side with a few Cattle Egrets.

And when we got home, a Red Shouldered Hawk flew onto the roof of the house across the street.

It was smaller than most so maybe it was a younger bird too.

Has it cooled down any where you live? 

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’. 

Monday, August 23, 2021

Come Hike with me!

 I know it's August and we're in Florida but we're trying to make a few hikes before the month is over! 

Last year we reached 100 hikes at the end of August and we would love to meet that goal! Let's go over to the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Country Greenway for a shady hike!

 It was 79 degrees on a morning hike this week which doesn't sound too bad. BUT, it was 97 % humidity with very little breeze! So it felt pretty warm and sticky! We weren't bothered by mosquitoes or flies though so there's that! lol

Giant Swallowtail

This butterfly is the largest one we've ever seen here in Florida!

We've had little pop up showers this month so things are blooming again as if it's Spring!

I love this new banner but I like the one I have up there right's hard to decide whether to change it!

How's the weather in your neck of the woods?

I'm joining Angie for Mosaic Monday HERE . 

Also I like Thursdays HERE.   

Saturday, August 21, 2021

What's in the swamp?

 The swamp is beautiful in Blue Run Park!

The Cypress trees are magnificent and on the surface of the water are thousands of duckweed plants.

It gives the impression that the swamp has slime but it is alive and well.

It was interesting to see the Green Heron in the swamp.

But what made it unusual was seeing it fly and jump from one cypress knee to another.

That's a cypress knee with the orange on top.

It's simply a structure growing above the roots and serves as a perch for all kinds of birds and critters.

We tried to keep up with this Green Heron.

But it finally said, HEY, you're crowding me and flew further into the swamp.

And this Wood duck seems to be saying something to the turtles.

Like.....TRY to keep up!

Talked to any birds this week? 

Join us for Saturday critters and birds!

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’. 

Monday, August 16, 2021

Native Florida Wildflowers

I think it's a challenge to identify wildflowers here in Florida even though I have several ID books now. 

Hibiscus Coccinieus

This scarlet hibiscus was growing in a wet area on the river side of the trail.

And the blooms are as big as a dinner plate!

We have so many different habitats here in North Central Florida.

Saltmarsh Mallow

This was growing in the water near the bridge.

Blue Run Park has a trail to the Withlacoochee River that has a swamp on one side and a river on the other. There are 2 rivers that come together, the Rainbow River and the Withlacoochee River.

This is a Rain Lily! Thanks Pamela for the ID! 

And when you begin your walk, there are some dry areas too.

It's a beautiful place to hike, even in the summertime!

I think it would be nice to go fishing there sometime too!

Anyone have a boat I can borrow? heehee!

I'm joining Angie for Mosaic Monday HERE . 

Also I like Thursdays HERE.   

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Summertime Hiking!

It was in the low 80s with a nice breeze so we drove over to Halpata Tastanaki Preserve! 

We were anxious to see what the water levels were like in the low areas.

This was the most water standing we've ever seen at the Pruitt trailhead. The low area filled with water is usually where we park! (the red Jeep is photo bombing my photos again, Sandra! heehee)

The trail was dry until we got to our turn around and then it was a big mud hole. It was a good place to see animal tracks though! 

But it felt great to be out in nature seeing so many birds and 'critters'.

Lots of dragonflies, butterflies and grasshoppers and we weren't bothered by mosquitoes or flies on this particular day. It may have been because of the nice breeze.

We always see quite a few birds that we don't get good photos of so I'll just list a few. We saw a Stork fly overhead and 2 Little Blue herons. We saw a young bluebird, warblers and tree swallows. We even had a beautiful Red shouldered Hawk fly across the trail in front of us.

Lots of flocks of Cattle Egrets,

Great White Egrets,

and Ibis.

And at the end of our hike, we turned to look back and saw 2 deer bound across the trail. 

It was the perfect ending to a wonderful hike. 

Florida in the's still pretty nice!

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’.